The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Brett Kimberlin: The ‘Musician-Activist’ That @MonicaHesse Wants You to Forget

Posted on | July 11, 2013 | 115 Comments

1992: Gary Trudeau’s cartoon strip frequently cited Brett Kimberlin’s claims

The Prisoner and the Politician
Brett Coleman Kimberlin, a convicted marijuana smuggler,
says he sold marijuana to Dan Quayle in the early 1970s.

Mark Singer, The New Yorker, Oct. 5, 1992

“In any case, it was [Cody] Shearer who, during the 1992 presidential campaign, introduced the world — through the unlikely medium of Doonesbury — to Brett Kimberlin. Kimberlin, you may recall, was the convicted bomber, habitual liar, and all-around sociopath who claimed to have sold drugs to Dan Quayle. Was Shearer acting on behalf of the legendary Clinton ‘opposition research’ outfit, which had floated damaging rumors during the ’92 primaries about Paul Tsongas’ health and Jerry Brown’s drug use?”
“Cody Shearer,” Slate, May 22, 1999

Nobody loves you when you’re down and out, and erstwhile liberal hero Brett Kimberlin is learning this lesson the hard way. Kimberlin once made headlines and was the subject of sympathetic magazine and newspaper articles — indeed, the major publisher Knopf paid good money to commission Mark Singer’s book about Kimberlin — and yet his liberal journalist friends have now lost interest in him.

Progressive Activist Brett Kimberlin
‘Abusive … Threatening,’ Wife Claims

That headline today is not from the Washington Post, although these shocking claims against a famous activist were made in a Maryland court in the Montgomery County suburbs of our nation’s capital. Any reporter can click here to read the relevant document.   Two or three phone calls, an hour or two of background research — a 500-word story for the Metro section would be an easy day’s work. And yet Brett Kimberlin is now apparently so insignificant and obscure that this case doesn’t even merit a 150-word item in the briefs column.

“‘Happy Springtime (Bush Is Over)’ is more than five minutes of John ‘n’ Yoko footage, of birds fluttering past a billboard reading ‘Imagine Peace’ and of beautiful children singing . . . A credit at the end leads viewers to Justice Through Music, a civic engagement nonprofit run by Kelsie’s father. . . .
“The credit for ‘Springtime’ goes to Kelsie’s dad, musician-activist Brett Kimberlin. . . .
“‘All of the kids in the choir are very liberal,’ says Brett Kimberlin. ‘They wouldn’t do this if they weren’t in the cause.’
“Kelsie agrees. ‘I don’t like Bush because he sends people to be killed,’ she says.”

Monica Hesse, “A Little Surprise For the Prize-Giver,” Washington Post, Nov. 8, 2007

The “musician-activist” Brett Kimberlin and the activities of his “civic engagement nonprofit” were indisputably newsworthy in 2007. The Washington Post thought this story was worth an 800-word feature article and a photograph of Brett Kimberlin and his family.

For some reason, Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse‘s interest in musician-activist Brett Kimberlin didn’t inspire her to do the kind of research that would have led her to the archives of the Indianapolis Star.

“The investigation of the Speedway bombings followed a twisted trail that started with the murder of a housewife . . .
“On Saturday, July 29, 1978, Julia Scyphers, a 65-year-old grandmother was in her living room chatting with her granddaughters . . .
“About 3 p.m., a man knocked on her door asking about some items she had displayed at a garage sale.
“When Mrs. Scyphers went outside to the garage to show him the items, he slipped a .25-caliber pistol from his black briefcase and shot her once in the back of her head. . . .
“Speedway police were puzzled by the murder. ‘She had no enemies,’ they said.
“But she did. Investigators learned her daughter, Sandra Barton, was a close — very close — friend of Brett C. Kimberlin. The relationship between the pair was complicated by his strange affection for Mrs. Barton’s pre-teen daughter, Debbie.”

R. Joseph Gelarden, Indianapolis Star, “Kimberlin case a maze of murder, deceit,” Oct. 18, 1981

The 1978 murder of Julia Scyphers is certainly less newsworthy than a YouTube video about that bad man George W. Bush whom Brett Kimberlin’s daughter said she hates “because he sends people to be killed.” The shooting death of an Indiana housewife has no relevance to the career of a “musician-activist” and his “civic engagement nonprofit,” the enthusiastic promotion of which is the paid professional duty of Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse.

Laziness or stupidity are plausible excuses for why a journalist would write about Brett Kimberlin without including the facts about the crime spree for which Kimberlin was convicted on federal charges that could have sent him to prison for 230 years.

This has always struck me as highly relevant. While the maximum penalty for Kimberlin’s federal crimes would have put him away for the rest of his life, prosecutors were shocked when the judge sentenced Kimberlin to only 50 years. And, of course, Kimberlin ultimately served only 17 years, because he was convicted before the enactment of federal “truth in sentencing” laws. Yet Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse, who may be lazy or stupid or both, did not seem to regard this as sufficiently relevant to mention in her 800-word publicity piece about “musician-activist” Brett Kimberlin and his “civic engagement nonprofit” that produced his daughter’s anti-Bush video.

Is Monica Hesse stupid? Is Monica Hesse lazy?

Or is Monica Hesse deliberately dishonest?

Here is why I ask these question: The truth about Brett Kimberlin is not difficult to discover, and yet Monica Hesse did not report it.

She did not report the truth about him in 2007, and it seems neither she nor anyone else employed by the Washington Post is interested in reporting the truth about Brett Kimberlin now.

  • 1973: Washington Post courageously exposes a cover-up.
  • 2013: Washington Post actively assists the cover-up.

If she were too lazy to do her own research, Monica Hesse could have consulted Mark Singer’s 1996 book, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin. Reviewers of Singer’s book describe Kimberlin as “a top-flight con man” (Publisher’s Weekly), “a fairly typical hustler” (Library Journal) and “a man whose idea of the truth is utterly malleable . . . a dangerous smooth talker” (Kirkus Reviews). That is to say, Brett Kimberlin is notoriously dishonest, a very bad man, and if Monica Hesse had the slightest interest in truth, she would have reported how bad he really is.

But perhaps, as I say, Monica Hesse‘s defenders will say she is stupid and lazy rather than dishonest. Maybe she lacks the kind of basic journalistic aptititude that would lead her to ask a common-sense question like, “Why would federal prosecutors want to put Brett Kimberlin away for the rest of his life?” I mean, so what? One of your bombs blows off the leg of a Vietnam veteran — big deal. Carl David DeLong, who cares?

I also worked with the daughter of the man who was so seriously injured, and was in so much pain, that he killed himself. The daughter never got over it; the pain and loss of her father bothered her all the time, and she finally ended up quitting her job, saying she couldn’t concentrate on her work anymore. The damage of such crazy people goes on and on.

See, if you cared about the truth, you would find those facts worth reporting. But no one who cares about the truth would work for a newspaper as dishonest as the Washington Post, which only hires professional liars, or people too stupid and lazy to find the truth.

When you encounter someone as habitually committed to dishonesty as Brett Kimberlin or a Washington Post reporter, the question of motive naturally occurs to anyone with common sense.

Why does Brett Kimberlin hate the truth so much?

Answer: Because the truth about Brett Kimberlin is that
he is so evil, no decent person could ever admire him.

Everybody who knows the truth about Brett Kimberlin despises Brett Kimberlin, except for twisted people who admire dishonest evil. And so Brett Kimberlin has been lying all his life, developing the proficiency of “a dangerous smooth talker,” “a top-flight con man” whose perverse motives he habitually conceals. Julia Scyphers’ granddaughter, whose name the Indianapolis Star gave as Debbie Barton, shows up in Mark Singer’s 1996 book as “Jessica.” Probably this was at the insistence of the legal department at Knopf.

“For three consecutive summers, 1974 through 1976, they took vacations of a week or longer in Disney World, Mexico, and Hawaii. Sandi couldn’t get time off from work, so on these summer trips it was just the two of them — Brett and Jessica.
“Eyebrows levitated. A drug-dealing colleague had memories of conversations with Kimberlin that struck him as odd: ‘We’d see a girl, who was pubescent or prepubescent, and Brett would get this smile and say, “Hey, what do you think? Isn’t she great?” It made me very uncomfortable.’ Another recalled Kimberlin introducing Jessica as ‘my girlfriend,’ and if irony was intended, it was too subtle to register. To a coworker . . . Sandi confided that Kimberlin was ‘grooming Jessica to be his wife.’ To another, Sandi explained that although Kimberlin’s relationship with Jessica was chaste, he intended ‘to wait for her and would marry her.’”

Mark Singer, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin, Page 78

“Eyebrows levitated,” you see, because Debbie/Jessica was only 10 when she met 20-year-old Brett Kimberlin, and those vacations with “just the two of them” occurred during “three consecutive summers” when Sandi Barton’s daughter was 10, 11 and 12. Alas, the girl’s grandmother was shot to death and, while police were investigating that murder, the Indiana town was struck by a series of bombings.

“Kimberlin seemed to be the only one with a possible motive — to distract police attention from the Scyphers murder and delay or halt their quiet investigation of him.”
R. Joseph Gelarden, Indianapolis Star, “Kimberlin case a maze of murder, deceit,” Oct. 18, 1981

If Brett Kimberlin was “the only one with a possible motive,” it’s interesting how he was eventually caught: On Sept. 20, 1978, wearing a fake uniform, Kimberlin was arrested at a print shop where he was attempting to get phony military identification — a federal crime. And when the FBI searched Kimberlin’s car, they found the same kind of blue-and-white timers that had been used to detonate the bombs.

Fake uniform, fake IDs, real evil.

After Brett Kimberlin was arrested, there were no more bombings, but that was two weeks after his eighth bomb — in a school parking lot, a nice touch — blew off Carl David DeLong’s leg.

The facts about Brett Kimberlin were simple enough for Mandy Nagy (“Liberty Chick”) to discover and publish in October 2010 (“Flashback: Progressives Embrace Convicted Terrorist“), but she worked for an honest and courageous man who hated evil lying cowards.

The depth of Brett Kimberlin’s evil is hard for most people to comprehend, especially reporters who either don’t want to know the truth or are too stupid and lazy to find it.

If you don’t know the truth about Brett Kimberlin, you may be deceived.  Dishonesty is not his only persistent sociopathic trait. If you didn’t know about Brett Kimberlin’s “strange affection” for Sandi Barton’s little daughter and those “just the two of them” vacation trips, maybe some other things wouldn’t bother you, like when the “musician-activist” was interviewed for City Paper in 1996:

Not all the songs on his album … have political overtones … others, like “Waiting to Meet” and “Teen Dream” (both about having sex with teenage girls) are lacking in subtlety and tend to make one squirm. But this is exactly what Kimberlin wants.
“I say things a lot of people are afraid to say. Yeah, ‘Teen Dream’ is about f–king a teenage girl. Every guy who’s seen a good-looking teenage girl has thought about it. I’m talking about that lecherous quality that every man, though he won’t act on it, has.”

Brett Kimberlin was a 41-year-old convict on parole when he recorded those songs “about having sex with teenage girls.” But  Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse evidently could not be bothered to read that, just like she apparently never read the Indianapolis Star account of Kimberlin’s crimes  or Mark Singer’s book about “a man whose idea of the truth is utterly malleable” or that 1999 Slate article that called Kimberlin an “all-around sociopath.”

Did Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse do any research at all about Brett Kimberlin’s creepy past? This is hard for me to believe, because in her 800-word article, her entire summary of his criminal career consisted of two sentences:

His Quayle revelation came from the clink, where he was serving time for a series of Indiana bombings, one of which wounded a Vietnam veteran. Kimberlin always contended he wasn’t guilty of the bombings and would have been paroled earlier, except for the government machine trying to keep him quiet about Quayle, who said he never had met the man.

Two sentences. Sixty words. “Musician-activist.”

Too bad about your leg, Mr. DeLong.

Too bad about that grandma who got shot dead.

The “all-around sociopath” says “he wasn’t guilty,” and that’s good enough for Washington Post staff writer Monica Hesse, to whom it is entirely logical that federal prosecutors have nothing better to do with their time than to convict innocent marijuana dealers of bombings they didn’t commit to cover up a murder they had nothing to do with and never mind . . . uh, something about a little girl.

Never mind the facts. Blame that “government machine,” you see?

Never mind those songs “about having sex with teenage girls,” and never mind that Kimberlin conspired to have witnesses against him killed. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t give a damn about the truth — for example, a staff writer for the Washington Post — never mind any of the facts about what kind of monster Brett Kimberlin really is. Whatever you do, you must never mind the facts:

The estranged wife of progressive activist Brett Kimberlin says he has been “mentally abusive” to her, claiming in a Maryland court that Kimberlin has been “threatening” her and trying to get her fired from her job at a Montgomery County daycare center.
Tetyana Kimberlin, 32, sought a domestic protective order this week, saying her husband had “been going by my work and telling my employer I am going to be arrested,” and that Kimberlin, 59, “had me arrested before on false charges.” . . .
“He told me if I will try to take my kids with me he will hurt me and I will see what will happen to me,” Kimberlin’s Russian-born wife wrote in her petition for a protection order, a case that was heard Tuesday in Silver Spring, Maryland. “He tells my 14-year-old about his plans about me and what he is going to do with me.” . . .

Please read the whole thing at The American Spectator, because you’re never going to find the truth in the Washington Post, which does not employ the kind of decent people who care about what happens to victims of “musician-activist” Brett Kimberlin.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is dishonest reporters like Monica Hesse. That sentence would fit in a Tweet. But I could probably think of some shorter sentences. IYKWIMAITYD.

 

 

 


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